After the closure of the Rocky Mountain News last February, E.W. Scripps CEO Rich Boehne publicly promised a job to Rocky editor/publisher/president John Temple -- but he turned it down to explore other opportunities.
Since then, he's consulted and blogged on his own website, Temple Talk. But an offer finally came along that he couldn't refuse. As he writes in a just-published post, "I'm going to become the first editor of Peer News, a Honolulu-based local news service that will produce original, in-depth reporting and analysis of local issues in Hawaii."
And guess what else: He's hiring.
Here's how Temple puts it:
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I'll be joining the Peer News team in Honolulu later this month and will begin working right away to hire a staff. If you're a reporter or assistant editor candidate interested in joining our team, you can learn more and submit your resume here and here, respectively. Please don't phone or e-mail me directly. We're looking for thoughtful writers with a proven record of breaking new ground with investigative reporting. The job will require more interaction with readers and the community than is typical at most local news operations. Hawaii experience or background is a big plus. And everybody on the team must be savvy about using today's technology and ready to embrace any new tools. It's a start-up, so candidates also need to be passionate about the idea and willing to do whatever is necessary to get the project off the ground.
In signing up with a new enterprise, which is being financed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Temple is taking the road less traveled by newspaper executives with his level of experience. Taking that Scripps job, signing up with an established publication (no doubt he had offers) or leaping into academia would have been far simpler. But instead, he's trying to find a way to merge traditional journalism with the 21st century version -- a concept he continued to promote even after the Rocky went under for the last time.
No telling if it'll succeed. But if it doesn't, he'll at least have a beautiful place from which to contemplate what went wrong.